Sellers of legitimate goods acquired in a legitimate manner can face false accusations nevertheless, and when selling goods on marketplaces like eBay and Amazon, can have their listings pulled.
Alibaba blogged last week
about the problem it faces when brands use third-party firms to monitor its marketplaces for fakes. "Many of the agencies operate legitimately, monitoring platforms and using authorized notification channels to lodge complaints and takedown requests for fake products," it said.
But "others have resorted to grayer measures when they suspect an IPR violation."
So what's a small seller to do? A reader wrote last week about a complaint they received through eBay's VeRO program in which Dewalt accused them of using their image illegally.
The seller said they had used their own photo, and sent several emails to the email address listing in the eBay notification email - but Dewalt never responded.
The seller did some research and found some websites on how to fight the false complaint - here's the process they followed as a result of their research:
1) Do not do this if you used their image. Admit you made a mistake and take your own photo next time otherwise you could be sued in federal court.
2) Send an email using your eBay email address to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com to request a counter-notice. Be sure to include your eBay account name and the item number of the listings that was affected.
3) Goto How eBay protects intellectual property (VeRO) , then click "I think the rights owner made a mistake in reporting my listing" and then click contact us and fill out the information.
4) eBay will email you a counter notice. Fill it out and fax it in.
5) eBay will send you a confirmation that they received it.
6) In about 10 days, assuming the company does not respond, eBay will send you a listing reinstatement link in an email.
7) Bam! You won. The company cannot file a VeRO complaint again on that item.
"This actually worked for me," the seller wrote. "I am upset that this information is not included in the eBay email, but bottom line, if you used your own image and are falsely accused, there is a way to fight back." The seller urged others to learn more and pointed to information provided on the TabberOne.com website
What do you think of this seller's advice - and feel free to share your stories here about the challenges of fighting false IP claims.